The Stranglers, uncovered

Ahead of their latest tour, Mercury reporter Miles Jermy talks to Baz Warne, singer and guitarist with punk rock heroes The Stranglers...

Currently writing and recording a new Stranglers album in Bath, Baz was eagerly anticipating heading out on the road. “Going out on tour is the most exciting part of what we do,” he said. “It is the ultimate buzz out in front of thousands of people showing off and being a big head. I’m really looking forward to it.

He added: “We are out on tour to give fans a chance to see us not because we have album to promote. As well as plundering songs from way back, including all the obvious hits, there will be three or four new songs. It is hugely exciting to be playing brand new material.

“We have called it the Black and Blue tour because you do feel battered and bruised when you get home.”

Acclaimed with The Sex Pistols, The Clash, and The Damned as one of the ‘four kings’ of punk, The Stranglers are the only one of the quartet to continue a successful recording career. Top 40 hits spanning more than three decades include Peaches, No More Heroes, Strange Little Girl and the classic Golden Brown.

Joining The Stranglers 11 years ago, Baz has become a pivotal part of the band alongside the three remaining original members Jean-Jacques (JJ) Burnel, Jet Black and Dave Greenfield.

He debuted on the album Norfolk Coast, critically acclaimed as the band’s best for two decades. The Stranglers latest unnamed album is due to be released early next year.

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“JJ spent about four weeks on the Norfolk coast writing songs and getting absorbed in the atmosphere,” said Baz. The front cover was shot at some rocks on Hunstanton beach. I love that people say Norfolk is a bit isolated and strange, but I have a great time going there.

“I was previously in a band called Small Town Heroes and initially got myself in The Stranglers for my guitar playing abilities. I was unemployed in Newcastle at the time, travelled to London to audition and got the gig. Ten days later we were playing in Kosovo, it was just fabulous. Many of our songs are part of the fabric of peoples’ lives and it is fantastic to have the chance to be on stage performing them.”

The Stranglers play the UEA in Norwich on Monday, March 21. Tickets are available from the box office on 01603 508050 or online at www.ueaticketbookings.co.uk.